The state is frequently denoted as the Dev Bhumi or Land of God because it houses various religious places and places of worships that are regarded as the most sacred and propitious areas of devotion and pilgrimage.
The name of the state was formally altered from Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand in 2007. Dehradun serves as the provisional capital of the state and it is also the biggest city in the state. The High Court of Uttarakhand is based in Nainital, another important city in the state. Handicrafts and handlooms are two major industries in the state. The state is also famous for being the origin of the Chipko Movement or Chipko Andolan.
On the 8th of November 2000, it became a full-fledged state of India with the formal induction of a separate State Government. The State is carved out of the Uttar Pradesh, which has the largest population in India. With this, the people of Uttarakhand have finally achieved their dream of running their own affairs for which they have been fighting for some decades now.
History of Uttarakhand
The history of Uttarakhand sings the glorious past of the territory. Uttarakhand has a long history of its genesis and evolution, which highlights of great emperors such as the Kushanas, Kudinas, Kanishka, Samudragupta, Katuria, Palas, Chandras and Pawaras. Talking about the history of Uttarakhand, it can be said that Uttarakhand finds reference in many holy Hindu scriptures. But the history of Uttarakhand can be best understood through the history of Garhwal and Kumaon. More Detail...
The state covers a total area of 51125 sq km and is the 18th biggest state in India. Most of the areas of the state are hilly and forested. The distinctive flora and fauna of the state comprise creatures like snow leopards, bharal, tigers, leopards and uncommon shrubs and trees. The Yamuna and the Ganges, two biggest rivers of the Republic of India, have their headwaters in this state. The prominent geographical features of Uttarakhand are as follows:
- Mountainous shrubland and plains
- The alpine bushes and pastures of Western Himalaya
- Moderate coniferous jungles
- Subalpine conifer jungles in the Western Himalaya
- Moderate broadleaf forests of the Western Himalaya
- Subtropical pine forests of the Himalayan mountain range
- Terai-Duar lowlands and savanna
- Humid broadleaf forests of the Upper Gangetic Plains. More Detail...
Uttarakhand is situated in the northern portion of India. It occupies 1.73% of India's total land area with 51,125 sq. km. It has a population of 10,116,752 inhabitants as per the 2011 census. The population density is at 189 per sq. km. The state borders Tibet, Nepal, Himachal Pradesh and the UP plains districts. Dehradun, the state' capital is about 240 km away from India's capital, New Delhi. There are 13 Districts in Uttarakhand: Pithoragarh, Almora, Nainital, Bageshwar, Champawat, Uttar Kashi, Udham Singh Nagar, Chamoli, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Rudraprayag and Haridwar (Urban).
The Population of Uttarakhand as per the census of 2011 is 10,116,752. Out of these, the males constitute of 5,154,178 and females comprise of 4,962,574. The state had a growth rate of 19.17% over the last census. The male to female ratio is 1000: 963 and the population density is 189 per square kilometer. Out of the total population of Uttarakhand 69.45% resides in the rural areas. The total Rural Population of Uttarakhand is 7,025,583. The rest of the 30.55% resides in urban areas. The total Urban Population of Uttarakhand is 3,091,169. The Literacy Rate of Uttarakhand is 79.63 % with Male Literacy at 88.33 % and Female Literacy at 70.70 %. The Total Literate population of the state is 6,997,433. More Detail...
Uttarakhand economy is one of the fastest growing in recent times. Agriculture is the most significant sectors in Uttarakhand. Rice, soybeans, wheat, groundnuts, pulses, coarse cereals and oil seeds are mainly grown crops. Apples, pears, oranges, peaches, plums and litchis are widely grown and are an important part of the food industry. The main cash crop of the state is sugarcane. The state has high expectations in becoming a striking tourist destination. Tourism is also coming up in the region and contributes in the annual earnings. This sector needs to be explored more and the state needs to invest more in tourism. Another sector where the state need to progress is the agro industries as this will help boost its revenue.
The fascinating locales of the national parks of Uttarakhand are brimming with the noble presence of wildlife that reflects incredible diversity. But the flora is also not left far behind as these national parks at Uttarakhand are dowered with an entire caboodle of trees, flowering-plants, shrubs, herbs, climbers and many more intriguing varieties that will beyond a shadow of a doubt dazzle you. On most occasions, the national parks are reserve pieces of luscious landscapes that fall under the jurisdiction of a particular Government belonging to a nation. The most significant and vital postulate that austerely demarcates the national parks from other wildlife preserving centers is the fact that any sort of human intrusion or dreaded pollution are sternly taboo. More Detail...
Society and Culture
Uttarakhand society implies the lifestyle and the customs and traditions of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand society is an extension of the cultural pattern of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand society is a heterogeneous mixture of the various ethnic groups from the Kumaon and Garhwal regions. Most of the people belonging to the Uttarakhand society are heterodox Hindus and Buddhists; while we also come across a number of Sikhs, who have migrated from West Punjab and settled in Uttarakhand since 1947. More Detail...
Government and Politics in Uttarakhand
Currently, the Chief Minister of the state is Harish Rawat of the INC (Indian National Congress). Uttarakhand government is devoted whole-heartedly towards the betterment of this new Indian state formed as late as in 2000. Uttarakhand government is comprised of an extremely efficient legislature, backed by an equally committed judiciary and executive. Presently, the state legislative functions under the governorship of Mr. Aziz Qureshi. All the functions of Uttarakhand government are based primarily in Dehradun of Garhwal division, the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand. There are total 5 Parliamentary constituency and 70Unicameral seats in the Legislature.More Detail...
Culture and Society
Dances in the region are associated with life and human existence; they exhibit countless human emotions. Music forms an integral part of the culture of Uttarakhand. The popular categories of folk songs comprise of basanti, mangals, khuded and chhopati. In local crafts, wood carving is quite prominent. Kumbh Mela, which is one of the major Hindu pilgrimages takes place in Haridwar, Uttarakhand and is considered the largest religious gathering in the world. Other major festivals in the state are Ghee Sankranti, Bat Savitri, Khatarua, Phool Dei, Harela mela, Nanda Devi Mela, etc. More Detail...
The two main regional languages are Garhwali and Kumaoni, but Hindi is the most commonly spoken language. The Garhwali and Kumaoni dialects are spoken in Garhwal and Kumaon regions. Some tribal communities in the west and north speak in Jaunsari and Bhotiya dialects. On the other hand, the urban population speaks mostly in Hindi, which is an official language of Uttarakhand along with Sanskrit.
Districts in Uttarakhand
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|Uttarakhand District Map|
|4||Tehri Garhwal||Tehri Garhwal||616409|
|6||Rudra Prayag||Rudra Prayag||236857|
|10||Udham Singh Nagar||Rudrapur||1648367|
Tourist Attractions in Uttarakhand
Opportunities for tourism are immense in this state, be it nature, wildlife, adventure, and pilgrimage tourism. The major destinations are Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Almora, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Jim Corbett National Park, Nainital, Ranikhet and Pithoragarh. If you are adventurous and like tough challenges, you can go for high- and low-altitude trekking, river rafting, para gliding, hang-gliding, mountaineering, skiing and many other activities.
Below is a list of some important Tourist Attractions in Uttaranchal:
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|Uttarakhand Travel Map|
The Kedarnath Temple is one of the most important religious centers in Uttarakhand. It is located at an elevation of 11,500 feet above sea level near the Mandakini River. Kedarnath is among the holiest Hindu temples in India dedicated to Lord Shiva. Devotees travel from different corners of the country every year mostly during the month of April to pay their homage to the God of the region.
This is another popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is also a one stop pilgrimage center for many Hindu's. According to Hindu Mythology this city was one of the favorite places of Lord Shiva. Apart from its religious significance Rishikesh is among the most naturally beautiful cities in India.
Nainital is among the most frequented tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. Situated in the Kumaon hills, Nainital is famous for its enthralling landscapes. Nainital is situated at a height of 1,938 meters and offers several tourist destinations that are unique to the region.
A haven for restoration and the peace loving traveler. Ranikhet promises a calm that is not found anywhere else in India. Known as a unique hill station for its clean and pollution free environment, tall coniferous trees, serene surroundings, Ranikhet promises to take you far from the maddening crowd.
- The Jim Corbett National Park
Known as paradise for the animal lover, the Jim Corbett National Park is undoubtedly the most prized possession of Uttarakhand. Counted as one of the best animal habitats in the country, the Jim Corbett National Park is located in the Himalayan foothills. Stretching over an area of 1318.54 sq meters this national park in India is made up of a rich eco system. More Detail...
Uttarakhand in India is easily accessible by air, rail and road.
- How to Reach Uttarakhand by Air
Uttarakhand is easily accessible by air. The Jolly Grant airport near Dehradun is the most popular airport in the region. Some domestic airlines operate flights to and from Dehradun. There are almost daily flights from Delhi to Dehradun by Indian Airlines.
- How to Reach Uttarakhand by Rail
Uttarakhand shares an excellent railway network with most of the Indian cities and towns. The major railway stations that connect the state to the other parts of the country are; the Dehradun Railway Station, the Haridwar Railway Station, and the Kathgodam Railway Station.
- How to Reach Uttarakhand by Road
Uttarakhand is well connected to most of the cities in India by a strong network of National Highways such as 58, 73, 74, and 87. However during the winters it sometimes becomes difficult to travel to Uttarakhand by road in higher regions of the state.More Detail...
Hotels of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand has hotels of star and non star category catering to the needs of the tourists visiting the State. Besides hotels the state has resorts, restaurants and cafes which cater to the needs of all segments of travelers. The main hill stations and pilgrimage places are dotted with many hotels and resorts. More Detail...
Blogs about Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand High Court Justice Sells For Only 15 Lakhs! : The corruption, permeating the judicial system of our country, had come under the spotlight in yet another exposure of bribery to a High Court Judge. The scam was revealed through a case of mistaken identity, when a package of Rs 15 lakhs, was mistakenly delivered to the residence of one Nirmaljit Kaur, a High Court judge, on August 13th, 2008. Following a police investigation into the matter, it had turned out that the package was…
Uttarakhand Catastrophe (Part II) : Post Disaster Management Fiasco : On June 16th Uttarakhand witnessed one of the most devastating natural calamities in the form of flash floods, cloudbursts, consistent hard rain and huge landslides that lasted for multiple days. The death toll as per June 16th statistics was 5700 or more. The disaster was a man-made disaster, a direct consequence of plundering a fragile mountain range like the Himalayas. Repeated warnings of the various environmental research agencies that Uttarakhand is an ‘Eco-Sensitive’ zone and…
Are Natural Disasters Man made? : Geographically, disasters can be technically classified into two categories: namely, natural disasters and man-made natural disasters. Man made disasters are always far worse than natural disasters. With the advent of science, various scientific experiments especially nuclear tests and human follies like oil spills, fire hazards, gas leaks along with the much discussed global warming has heavily skewed the balance of the ecosystem. Very soon we will reach a stage where the line between natural and…
Chaukori : Living in the plains among the hustle and bustle of city life and then visiting mighty mountains for serenity is a totally different experience. Many places in India can be called dream destinations, as you can reinvent yourself and be a part of the nature by visiting these. One such unexplored and small but mesmerizing tourist spot that presents a great view of snow-capped Himalayan range is Chaukori. Chaukori is located in the Pithoragarh district…
Roopkund Lake – The Mysterious Lake of Skeletons : One can see hundreds of corpses floating in the Roopkund Lake when the ice in this lake melts. With this scene, comes the mystery of the lake. Roopkund Lake locally known as the Mystery Lake is located in Himalaya at an altitude of about 5,029 meters in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. There are hundreds of corpses (300-600 in number) that can be seen in this shallow lake. Their presence there is a mystery. Scientists…
Last Updated on : 04/07/2013